22 Sep 2016

Using BISALLOY® steel, a quenched and tempered steel, has enabled a Wollongong miner to develop a high-strength, high-capacity, lightweight bracket for mine services pipework.

Like all miners John Pink has seen many mine services support systems carrying the pipework for gas drainage, compressed air, pump-out lines and fresh water.

Such "systems" have ranged from crude pieces of wire to more substantial hooks and chains and in some mines the "temporary" services support bracket has become a permanent fixture for the working life of the mine.

By using BISALLOY® steel Mr Pink has been able to develop a safe, high technology yet lightweight support system, called the "Face Emplaced"™ Mine Services Bracket.

Bisalloy Steels has also applied staff and resources to assist Mr Pink with research and development on his innovative project.

BISALLOY® steel has all the qualities needed for Mr Pink's now patented design. Its yield strength (690 MPa) is almost three times greater than A.S. 3678, GR-250 (mild steel). Optimising the high yield strength of the steel means the plate thickness is minimised to just 5mm. Naturally the result is a very lightweight bracket that can be easily handled underground.

A Bisalloy Steels Engineer points out some of the design's advantages.

"In the mining industry many things have to be handled manually. To erect brackets above one's head can lead to fatigue or back injury. BISALLOY® steel overcomes the weight problem of a bracket made from general grade steel, also the Bisalloy advantage means Mr Pink 's system has a greater capacity and can carry more mine services."  

Other innovations include a 110m wide top flange on the bracket.  This allows the bracket to nest between the ridges of a standard "W" strap and also prevents the bracket rotating on the supporting roof bolt. The roof bolt hole incorporates a bevelled swage to facilitate a spherical washer, providing further safety when the bracket is fixed to an uneven roof. The bracket has an inclined section (15 degrees) sloping away from the flat surface contact area at the roof bolt hole. A "Z" -shaped configuration allows the bracket to withstand lateral forces and buckling.

The combination of easily-formed, high-strength BISALLOY® steel and accurate laser cutting has led to the development of this high technology, lightweight mine services bracket.

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